L'Occitane Néroli & Orchidée Review

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It goes without saying that neroli is one of my favourite notes in a fragrance. Ever since I first got a taste (or rather, smell) of it in the gorgeous Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, I was hooked. I then went on to purchase a bottle of neroli essential oil, which served me well, mixed in with sweet almond oil as my facial massage medium of choice. I've tried a couple of neroli fragrances, but I'm yet to find the perfect one. I put L'Occitane's Néroli & Orchidée Eau de Toilette* (£52 for 75ml) to the test to see if it could fit the bill as my dream neroli fragrance...


L'Occitane Néroli & Orchidée Review


Neroli is a derivative of the bitter orange tree, which is used to create many different fragrance oils. The fruit peel goes into creating the essential oil, the orange leaves produce petigrain oil, and the delicate, fragrant flowers are used to make neroli and orange blossom absolute. Neroli and orange blossom absolutes differ in their methods of extraction, which gives them different olfactory qualities. Neroli is very fresh, aromatic and slightly green, whereas orange blossom is sweet and heady, mimicking the scent of fresh flowers. These two notes are often interchangeable, and it surprises me how versatile they can be, helping to produce a lot of very differing fragrances. 

Neroli is a note that features in many fragrances, one of the most popular being Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino, where the overall blend is akin to the bitter, spa-like aroma of the essential oil. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Elie Saab's popular line of fragrances, as well as Chloé Love Story (read the review) both of which have orange blossom at their core, playing to its more romantic side. Both neroli and orchid represent femininity, and Néroli & Orchidée accurately portarys this with its sensual scent. 


L'Occitane Néroli & Orchidée Review


If you've been living under a rock, L'Occitane en Provence is a boutique brand with a wide range of body, hair and skincare products, all heavily influenced by the brand's French heritage. They have a commendable fragrance range, with their original scents (inlcuding Cherry Blossom, Lavender and Verbena), as well as their newer La Collection de Grasse range, inspired by the perfume capital of the world. The collection was launched in 2013 with a capsule of four fragrances: Vanille & Narcisse, Magnolia & Mure, Jasmine & Bergamote and The Vert & Bigarade.

Despite the range's humble beginnings, its popularity meant that L'Occitane were able expand it into a comprehensive range of 12 scents. Neroli & Orchidée launched in spring 2014, and has become one of the best-selling perfumes in the range, with its creation being overseen by L'Occitane's resident perfumer, Karine Dubreuil.


Fun fact: Dubreuil also created the new Michael Bublé By Invitation fragrance!


L'Occitane Néroli & Orchidée Review



AT A GLANCE

Top notes:
Orange
Mandarin

Heart notes:
Neroli
Peach
Fig Milk
Lily of the Valley

Base notes:
Orchid
Musk
Iris

Néroli & Orchidée opens with the radiant, zesty notes of orange and mandarin. For a few fleeting minutes, there is a joyous aroma of bitter orange trees in the Mediterranean. Neroli makes an early appearance, with its green notes coming into play, giving the some much needed freshness. This stops it from being too overpowering and sickly. 

As the scent settles into the warmth of the skin, it intensifies and the citrussy notes subside to reveal a sensual, sweet floral heart. Of course, the neroli is there, and its green side softens in the presence of the accompanying bouquet of florals. Notes of peach and fig milk are spectators in this scent, rather than competing for the limelight. These two, combined with iris in the base give the scent a comforting powdery nature, a soft velvety fuzz which echoes that of Iso E Super (read the post here) I'm really intrigued to smell Néroli & Orchidée layered with Molecule 01!

The base is light with florals and soft musks, which stops the scent from being to heavy. Powdery iris tempers the exotic orchid which, as a synthetically produced note, has the potential to be overpowering and obnoxious. In Néroli & Orchidée, the orchid is subtle, a soft kiss on the skin that lingers throughout the day.


L'Occitane Néroli & Orchidée Review


Néroli & Orchidée is a well blended scent that exudes sophistication from start to finish. It is extremely long-lasting, and one spritz is more than enough, a rarity for an Eau de Toilette. It is bold and memorable, with a silage that proceed's one's presence, yet it simultaneously manages to be a soft, feminine skinscent. The packaging is absolutely beautiful, simple yet elegant, with a clear flacon that lets the delicate blush hue of the elixir shine through.

Whilst I do really like Néroli & Orchidée, for me it doesn't have the potential to be my signature scent. There are certain scents that have the tendency to "wear you" rather than the other way around, much like Chanel Coco Mademoiselle and Tom Ford Velvet Orchid (review). This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's one you might wear if you want to feel like someone else (someone much more glamorous in my case!). 

I also have the Néroli & Orchidée body milk and it's quite overpowering, but the eau de toilette is much softer and more wearable for daytime. It is in the same vein as the Elie Saab and Chloé Love Story fragrances, but I think this is slightly more mature. For me, I was hoping the fig would come through more, being one of my favourite notes. I really want to try more of the La Collection de Grasse, especially after blind choosing Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc at the L'Occitane event last month (read the post here). Another scent that I'm really drawn to is Magnolia & Mûre, as I think it would be wonderful for autumn!

Have you tried any of the L'Occitane fragrances?
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*This post has been written in sponsored collaboration with L'Occitane. I have retained editorial control so all love of the blush pink aesthetic is my own. Huge thanks to the team for working with me and supporting my blog!